Proceedings: TOG Seminar on CSR and CC
Mr. J.K. Dadoo, Secretary, Environment, Forest & Wildlife, Govt. of N.C.T. of Delhi and Chairperson of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) chaired the seminar while Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director-General, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and Mr. Ramesh Menon, an environmental journalist were the distinguished speakers for the event.
The seminar began with Mr. Dadoo welcoming everyone followed by the screening of “Global Warning”, a 20 minute film which focuses on the impact of climate change on Kolkata, coastal areas in Orissa and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the threats faced by these regions.
The stage was then honoured by the presence and an excellent presentation on the topic of the day, by Mr. J.K. Dadoo. Mr. Dadoo began the presentation by defining and explaining the very essence of CSR. He informed that Corporate Social responsibility is best defined by the World Business Council as “The continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development, while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large”.
Based on the impact of their activities on customers, employees, shareholders, communities and the environment, for all aspects of their operations, CSR is a concept whereby organizations should consider the interests of the society. Mr. Dadoo further engaged the audience by talking about the Global scenario and the Indian scenario of CSR before coming to the important and much awaited topic of CSR and Delhi!
Mr. Dadoo did not waste much time in explaining the situation of Delhi’s environment or even in all the good work being done for a better environment for the fact that he was keen to promote more such good work. With a heading as direct as “Priority areas for CSR in respect of Environment Sector in Delhi”, he categorically listed the need of the hour in very simple and straightforward bullets.
His audience capturing presentation was followed by a talk by Dr. Ajay Mathur who started with emphasizing on the need of corporate houses to understand CSR, Environmental Management Systems, Energy Audits, etc. as not just an add-on but an integral part of their working. His talk covered the issues of energy costs and conservation and he seemed surprised at the fact that a lot of new corporate office complexes are now using more glass on the outside than ever before! After being reminded by Mr. Dadoo, Mr Mathur also talked about his bureau’s promotion of the compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and the facilitation of the phase out of the incandescent bulb.
The stage was then handed over to Mr. Ramesh Menon who did not wish to speak much for he maintained that his film had done all the talking on his behalf. He explained the need to communicate environment to business houses and to create an atmosphere for this today lest we may irreversibly damage the atmosphere above us tomorrow. He concluded with talking about individual responsibility of citizens towards maintaining a cleaner, greener city and a more promising planet.
The stage was finally opened for the audience which was now enlightened and full of questions and comments. A lot of people wanted to find out how they could actually run the projects mentioned by Mr. Dadoo in his presentation. To this, Mr. Dadoo pointed out to Ms. Usha Srinivasan of Development Alternatives who has successfully worked on such projects with the support from Dept. of Environment, Govt. of N.C.T of Delhi.
Ms. Bahar Dutt of CNN-IBN and Ms. Madhur Motwani of YouthReach raised the issue of the tree fellings taking place in the city owing to the massive construction work. Both of them were particularly concerned with the ineffective transplantation of trees. Ms. Motwani explained the transplantation of a tree as aborting of a child and putting it somewhere else. Mr. Dadoo responded with stating that he understood the complexities involved in such a situation very well and that permissions to transplant trees were given least priority by his Department.
Further, Mr. Ranmal Jhala inquired about what the Government was doing to promote cycles in the city. He was informed that within its capacity the Government had plans to promote cycles but that it was first important to promote the use of Metro that had been brought into the city at a huge cost and that though popular, a lot of Delhi’s population still prefers to use cars, etc. to reach places.
With this Mr. Ajit Kumar thanked Mr. Dadoo, Mr. Mathur, Mr. Menon and the audience and concluded the seminar. The audience still wanted more and an extensive discussion followed the event.
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